All eyes will be on a battered Yankees rotation that might not have a starter with an ERA under 4.00, depending on the health of Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez, who is nursing a tired right throwing shoulder and might miss Game 3. Kevin Brown, who broke his right hand punching a wall after a Sept. 3 loss to the Orioles, may not pitch in the division series. Javier Vazquez, acquired in trade in the offseason to soften the loss of Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte, has struggled mightily in his first year in New York, compiling a 14-10 record with a 4.91 ERA.

All eyes should be on Minnesota Twins starter Johan Santana, the best pitcher in baseball this year. In what likely will be a Cy Young season, Santana was 20-6 with an American League-best 2.61 ERA and also led the league in strikeouts with 265. After the all-star break Santana, who starts Game 1 today, was an astounding 13-0 with a 1.21 ERA. If needed, Santana likely will also pitch either Game 4 or 5.

Key stat

Though the Yankees' pitching might be feeble, their offense is not. Eight Yankees have at least 15 home runs.

Fearless prediction

Yankees in five.